VESTAL – Chad Noelle of Greene returns to the New York State track and field meet next weekend at Vestal as the best Section IV 1,600-meter runner – ever.
Noelle, a junior, shattered a 20-year-old record held by Union-Endicott’s Brian Clas timing 4:10.54, six seconds better than his previous-best time and two seconds under Clas’ long-standing mark.
“I haven’t done a lot of miles since indoor nationals, and I haven’t done a really hard one in about three months,” Noelle said. “I hoped I could really still push myself, and it worked out.”
For two laps, Noelle stayed on the shoulder of Chenango Valley’s Max Straneva and Corning’s Jarred Cornfield. After two laps, Cornfield moved to the front, and Noelle went with him.
“The first lap was slightly slower than I wanted, and after the first 800, if it didn’t pick up, I thought I might take over,” Noelle said. “Cornfield picked up the pace in the third lap, and going into the last 400, I felt really good, so I said let’s go.”
As the bell rang for the last lap, Noelle seemed to shoot himself out of a cannon and past Cornfield. By the second turn on the final lap, a tight race turned into a rout, and Noelle ran the last 400 meters in 56.5 seconds for the record.